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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just bid a massive remodeling job for a townhome association. According to an insider board member, one of the other board members recently gave our bid package to a competitor so they can bid the job, too. If this is true, this company has all our numbers, quantities, product specs, etc. They did not even need to go out and field measure, which was in, and of itself, a time consuming ordeal. You just know they will shave off a few thousand dollars to get the job. Even though we are by far the most qualified for the job, price always seems to be the bottom line. Of three bidders, we beat one by 1/3 (kind of scary) and the other bidder would not even get out of his truck to measure. He said he needed the blue prints :laughing: or he could not proceed.

The final outcome has not yet been determined (the board is voting tonight - we gave them our bid six weeks ago) but it reeks of unlawful practice. Do we have any rights here if we should lose the job to this last minute competitor? We even went so far as to bring our banker in to offer them a LOC for financing the project. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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If you know this to be true, you might start with your local district attorney and your state or local contractor licensing board.
 

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Pompass Ass
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We just bid a massive remodeling job for a townhome association. According to an insider board member, one of the other board members recently gave our bid package to a competitor so they can bid the job, too. If this is true, this company has all our numbers, quantities, product specs, etc. They did not even need to go out and field measure, which was in, and of itself, a time consuming ordeal. You just know they will shave off a few thousand dollars to get the job. Even though we are by far the most qualified for the job, price always seems to be the bottom line. Of three bidders, we beat one by 1/3 (kind of scary) and the other bidder would not even get out of his truck to measure. He said he needed the blue prints :laughing: or he could not proceed.

The final outcome has not yet been determined (the board is voting tonight - we gave them our bid six weeks ago) but it reeks of unlawful practice. Do we have any rights here if we should lose the job to this last minute competitor? We even went so far as to bring our banker in to offer them a LOC for financing the project. Any advice is appreciated.
It is unethical, but it is not an Anti Trust Law violation.

I doubt it is even illegal.

How do you know you are more qualified than all the other bidders?
 

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Handle It!
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We just bid a massive remodeling job for a townhome association. According to an insider board member, one of the other board members recently gave our bid package to a competitor so they can bid the job, too. If this is true, this company has all our numbers, quantities, product specs, etc. They did not even need to go out and field measure, which was in, and of itself, a time consuming ordeal. You just know they will shave off a few thousand dollars to get the job. Even though we are by far the most qualified for the job, price always seems to be the bottom line. Of three bidders, we beat one by 1/3 (kind of scary) and the other bidder would not even get out of his truck to measure. He said he needed the blue prints :laughing: or he could not proceed.

The final outcome has not yet been determined (the board is voting tonight - we gave them our bid six weeks ago) but it reeks of unlawful practice. Do we have any rights here if we should lose the job to this last minute competitor? We even went so far as to bring our banker in to offer them a LOC for financing the project. Any advice is appreciated.
Completely Illegal!!

This is how the Oil Companies especially Standard, Rockefeller, became the MOST POWERFUL ENTITY in the World!

Go get 'em.............If you feel like losing your Business! Really!
 

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Handle It!
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It is unethical, but it is not an Anti Trust Law violation.

I doubt it is even illegal.

How do you know you are more qualified than all the other bidders?

The sharing of Bids IS not Standard Practice..........Even though that IS how we, the REAL Business Men, excel!


There are Closed/Silent/Blind Bid Processes and there exists Open Processes.......
 

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Pompass Ass
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Completely Illegal!!

This is how the Oil Companies especially Standard, Rockefeller, became the MOST POWERFUL ENTITY in the World!

Go get 'em.............If you feel like losing your Business! Really!
Anti Trust laws are meant to protect the Public (client), not the contractor or business.

What law was broken by one contractor getting a copy of another contractors bid?

I agree the board member should not have disclosed the information, but it happens all the time.
 

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We just bid a massive remodeling job for a townhome association. According to an insider board member, one of the other board members recently gave our bid package to a competitor so they can bid the job, too. If this is true, this company has all our numbers, quantities, product specs, etc. They did not even need to go out and field measure, which was in, and of itself, a time consuming ordeal. You just know they will shave off a few thousand dollars to get the job. Even though we are by far the most qualified for the job, price always seems to be the bottom line. Of three bidders, we beat one by 1/3 (kind of scary) and the other bidder would not even get out of his truck to measure. He said he needed the blue prints :laughing: or he could not proceed.

The final outcome has not yet been determined (the board is voting tonight - we gave them our bid six weeks ago) but it reeks of unlawful practice. Do we have any rights here if we should lose the job to this last minute competitor? We even went so far as to bring our banker in to offer them a LOC for financing the project. Any advice is appreciated.
Sorry it happened to you, but there is nothing you can do... and if you try, you will never prove they have seen your bid.
It sucks, but like BWalley said it happens all the time.
Better luck next time :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not wanting to sound like a poor loser but we are the most qualified because we can employ as many EMPLOYEES as necessary to complete the job in a timely manner, with the best equipment and the best practices. We were the largest siding contractor employing its own carpenters (rather than subs) in the midwest up until the housing bust. We had another similar project that we tookover after the cheap bidder had to install a mailbox (he had been there MONTHS) on the one building he was working on :laughing: We came in and did twelve units in two weeks. We do not hire subs and therefore can dictate precisely how the job will be done and how quickly. It's all about quality control, and safety first. Not to mention we are very familiar with the competition in the area.

The thing that irks me the most is a competitor taking advantage of our expertise. Go ahead and measure on your own and then we can compete on a similar level. Using our numbers is unfair at best. We will have the last laugh I guess, should we lose, because NO ONE can compete with our material costs if using the same products. Not to mention we do not need a loan to finance our payroll. This is a BIG job.

Oh well. Thanks for the eye opening replies. I guess we will be handling things differently in the future.
 

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Pompass Ass
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Not wanting to sound like a poor loser but we are the most qualified because we can employ as many EMPLOYEES as necessary to complete the job in a timely manner, with the best equipment and the best practices. We were the largest siding contractor employing its own carpenters (rather than subs) in the midwest up until the housing bust. We had another similar project that we tookover after the cheap bidder had to install a mailbox (he had been there MONTHS) on the one building he was working on :laughing: We came in and did twelve units in two weeks. We do not hire subs and therefore can dictate precisely how the job will be done and how quickly. It's all about quality control, and safety first. Not to mention we are very familiar with the competition in the area.

The thing that irks me the most is a competitor taking advantage of our expertise. Go ahead and measure on your own and then we can compete on a similar level. Using our numbers is unfair at best. We will have the last laugh I guess, should we lose, because NO ONE can compete with our material costs if using the same products. Not to mention we do not need a loan to finance our payroll. This is a BIG job.

Oh well. Thanks for the eye opening replies. I guess we will be handling things differently in the future.
If you bid a job again for this community, give them a lowball number but make sure you put enough outs in it to get out from under the contract in case you get it, that way when another contractor uses your bid to chop your legs from under you, they will end up losing money.

Or you could resubmit a lower bid to try and win the job if it is only a few thousand dollars.

If the lowball guy can't finish the job and you get called to come in after them you can always get some satisfaction that way because then they will be needing you more than you need them.
 

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I am a GC as well as a property manager for a local condo association. I requested bids from 3 different contractors. Two gave me their bids. At the request of a client I asked another, however, I did not share any of the bids to them. I had wrote a scope of work for everyone to bid. It was up to them to bid based on actual field and based on plans. I did however ask after the bids were recieved for the quantities just to make sure they were about the same due to the spread between the bids. I made sure veryone was bidding apples and apples. After the meeting with teh owners and they selected the low bidder, then I shared the bids.

As for the legality, I am not a lawyer, but I do not see anything illegal about it. Unethical, yes. I have used the scope froma contractor before but I marked out the bids and quantities.

I generally quote the job and base it on general scope. I might even put in there I will provide other information after award of job. Who cares really how many shingles it takes or how many squares of siding.
 

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Why are you including all the information the contractor needs to prepare a bid? For example, Don't say "I propose to install 1,000 SF of XXX siding at 1234 Main Street" when you could say "I propose to install XXX siding on the building located at 1234 Main Street."

I typically give my clients as much information as I can about what I am proposing to do so they can compare apples to apples when comparing bids but I don't want them to just be able to fax my quote to every contractor in the book and get pricing sight unseen by the lazy SOB's out there.

FYI - as a GC who subcontracts all of his work I will disagree with your statement that you are better than everyone else because you don't sub out any of your work. I believe that hiring a sub who specializes in the particular scope of that particular project will do better 99% of the time than a company who has guys on staff that handle a wide varity of tasks every day. I know I am likely to hear it from a number of you here on this statement so to clarify, I just don't understand the guys that think having subcontractors is a bad thing. If you know how to manage and supervise, subcontractors can be a huge advantage.
 

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Maybe next time you should wait until the deadline before you submit your bid. Then they wouldn't have time to give your bid to your competitor.

Or maybe add some legal wording on the cover sheet stating that they can not share your bid. Even if it can not be upheld, it would make them think twice. :thumbsup:
 

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This is a perfect example of why there are jobs set up with an official bid date and everyone summits on that date and not a day earlier. There is not enough time for these types of tactics.

Obviously yours was not one of them and your hard work was there to be treated how they felt best for weeks. That really sucks and is extremely unlikely you could do anything to prove your point. Even if you did what are you really going to do with the proof?

Then again if you know who all the players are and you are willing to get in the dirt with them, you could pay the board member a visit and be up front that you are wise to what has transpired and have a clear legal path you are willing to take if this job goes to the other guy.

May not hurt to let him think that you are capable of other not so legal methods if he doesn't do the right thing.

I would be more inclined to let it go but if things were really tight who knows?
 

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I'm a Mac
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What they did was just plain unethical, I wouldn't bother ever providing another bid for them.

What your thinking of that is illegal is you and the competitors meeting and jacking the price up, that'll get you in a bit o'****.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
FYI - as a GC who subcontracts all of his work I will disagree with your statement that you are better than everyone else because you don't sub out any of your work. I believe that hiring a sub who specializes in the particular scope of that particular project will do better 99% of the time than a company who has guys on staff that handle a wide varity of tasks every day. I know I am likely to hear it from a number of you here on this statement so to clarify, I just don't understand the guys that think having subcontractors is a bad thing. If you know how to manage and supervise, subcontractors can be a huge advantage.
Perhaps I need to clarify, you being a GC, we would be the sub that you hired, but we have employees. We specialize in siding installation. Now if you hire a sub, and then they sub it out because the job is so big... therein lies the problem. Trust me when I say there are many unscrupulous people out there who have tons (literally) of nails sitting in their garages that never got used, if you get my drift.

On a job of this magnitude no one company in our area could handle it all without subbing it out. There is no way that each and every of those subs would do a good job. How do you supervise them all day long and count nails being used, or the precise way they install products (consistency). That is a HUGE issue. I have a hundred men waiting to get their positions back with us, not to say that we have not been burned a few times, but they are well trained and loyal.

We also offer a five year installtion warranty. I would shudder to do so after subbing out to Johnny's Shifting Siding Corp.
 

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OK I understand what you are saying. If you have the systems and training in place to effectively manage all these guys all the power to you. If you are picking up guys outside of Home Depot and calling them employees then you won't be welcome around here too long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK I understand what you are saying. If you have the systems and training in place to effectively manage all these guys all the power to you. If you are picking up guys outside of Home Depot and calling them employees then you won't be welcome around here too long.
Yes, we have learned over the last 23 years how to train and manage skilled labor. It took a lot of added expense to do that; supervisors, company trucks, the best equipment, but we did it, and did it well. It's unfortunate a lot of companies simply do not have the desire to do it right because it can be costly.
 

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not sure about the law here ,but when i'am getting quotes for work and someone ask what i have been qouted i will tell them that is not the way i do business give me your quote and thats it
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's an update if anyone is interested. The board is still deciding (these things take forever due to legalities) but it is between us and the last minute competitor. He beat our price by 2% (go figure). We did some research on this company and discovered he has two employees, an F rating with the BBB, is not incorporated, and carries no workman's comp insurance (the two employees are likely him and his wife). Not to mention a ton of legal troubles and a stint in the pokey a few years ago for selling (ahem) a white powdery substance.

I think we will get the job after all :clap:
 
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